Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

This problem is not usually diagnosed because magnesium doesn’t tend to appear in blood tests. Only 1% of magnesium is stored in the blood stream. Also, the majority of doctors don’t even include its analysis in their exams, which is why it is difficult to know if you suffer from magnesium deficiency or not. 

They say that most people in industrialized countries like the United States are lacking magnesium, but very few know it. It is good to keep in mind that this can bring many diseases along with it.

Magnesium Deficiency: What to Know

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals that you have in your body after water, oxygen, and basic nutrients. It is vital to your development and is more relevant than calcium, sodium, and potassium because it is in charge of regulating all three.

One of the most common symptoms in magnesium deficiency is being very thirsty and drinking a lot of water or liquids everyday. This is because you aren’t receiving the necessary nutrients from food and your body expresses it by wanting hydration.


Magnesium deficiency can disrupt your sleep cycles, increase stress, or reduce a person’s athletic abilities. It is reflected in the quality of life of someone more than anything. The first symptoms are very subtle and almost imperceptible, and then they go on to a more delicate level, like leg cramps, feet pain, or “twinges” in your muscles without having exercised, for example. Once the symptoms worsen, you will experience numbness, convulsions, frequent tingling, and in intense cases, coronary spasms, personality changes, and abnormal heartbeats.

Magnesium deficiency can affect all of your body’s organs, especially your muscles, which is why you may experience a lot of pain, tension, cramping, or spasms. Disorders in the jaw joint, headaches, or chest tightness, which doesn’t allow you to breath deeply, can also occur.


It also contracts your muscles, which causes constipation, menstrual cramps, spasms when urinating, difficulty swallowing, “knots” in your throat, photophobia, high sensitivity to noise, an affected nervous system, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, hyperactivity, agoraphobia, PMS, tingling feelings, numbness, or instability.

In regards to your cardiovascular system, magnesium deficiency can cause arrhythmia, palpitations, chest pain (angina), spasm in your arteries, hypertension, and mitral valve prolapse.

Why Is Magnesium so Important?

Your body basically needs it for all of its functions. Cells live thanks to magnesium. It is vital for enzymes to work and it synthesizes proteins, carbohydrates, and fat. It is also essential in energy production. In short, a deficiency in magnesium affects all the systems in the body. Water that contains a lot of magnesium can prevent this deficiency.

It is interesting to know that deficiency in this mineral can trigger diabetes. According to some studies, patients that suffer from magnesium deficiency were more vulnerable to suffer from problems in blood sugar production.


How Can I Add Magnesium to my Daily Diet?

The recommended amount of magnesium is 300 milligrams for men and 280 for women. Pregnant women should consume 350. Magnesium is found mainly in nuts (like almonds, cashew, or walnuts) and in legumes (like peas).

A diet rich in magnesium for one day can be the following:

  • Breakfast: tea with low fat milk with two whole wheat slices of toast.
  • Mid-morning: 10 nuts or 10 almonds
  • Lunch: a cup of raw spinach, 120 grams of natural tuna and 1 cup of whole grain cooked rice. For a dessert, a light flan with two chopped up walnuts.
  • Snack: low fat milk with cereal and an apple
  • Mid-afternoon: 2 rice or oatmeal cookies with a handful of raisins
  • Dinner: chicken breast with chard pudding and a tomato and cucumber salad. A half cup of strawberries for dessert.


Images courtesy of Iain Buchanan, IUCN Web, Christopher, Eunice, Steve Parker